Sedition, UAPA charges being given out like ‘prasad’: Swara Bhaskar tells CM Mamata Banerjee

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Mumbai: Actor Swara Bhaskar has again made it to headlines after speaking her mind during her interaction with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The actor that the government is indiscriminately using sedition law and UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) provisions and artists are finding it difficult to “tell stories”.

She made the comments in front of Mamata Banerjee, who is on a three-day visit to Mumbai, where she interacted with members of civil society.

“There is a state which is distributing UAPA and sedition charges like a ‘prasad’ from God we don’t want to pray to,” said Swara Bhaskar, who is vocal about social and political issues on social media.

“Artists today are facing a lot of resistance to telling stories. There are many who have risked their livelihood and careers to keep resistance alive,” she added.

The actor asserted that right-wing groups targeted comedians like Munawar Faruqui, Aditi Mittal, Agrima Joshua. Faruqui spent a month in jail (for allegedly hurting religious sentiments), she pointed out.

Bhaskar stated that there was also an instance of a venue being vandalised for hosting some comedians.

Common citizens are facing an “unaccountable mob” which is being used by the ruling dispensation while the police and the state are giving it a free rein, the actor alleged.

Mamata Banerjee said that the UAPA has been grossly misused.

“The UAPA is not (meant) for common citizens but for protection against external forces and (maintenance of) internal security,” she further said.

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